The Merit Foundation
The Merit Foundation is a not for profit organisation (ANBI) and has established itself as a credible authority in the field of rheumatology, ensuring long-term, valued participation and continuity.
- At the core of the Foundation is the Board, consisting of international opinion leaders in rheumatology, IT experts and financial experts, which is responsible for the creative development, implementation, execution and management of METEOR.
- The Executive Scientific Committee acts as the Board’s forum for discussion on strategic and feasibility aspects of METEOR. They are a platform for judging scientific questions raised by researchers who wish to utilize the database, while safeguarding the ethical and scientific aspects of METEOR.
- Central Coordinators are responsible for the communication between participating hospitals and the project coördinator and IT providers.
The Merit Foundation aims to improve treatment of rheumatoid arthritis worldwide and demonstrate the value of regularly measuring disease course by offering the METEOR tool to aid physicians in quickly assessing patient improvement and comparing results through access of aggregated anonymized data collected by their peers.
The anonymised data in this METEOR database will be owned by the Foundation and cannot be used for any purpose, including disclosure, research or publication, without the prior approval of the Foundation. For the purpose of the above described project the Foundation appointed coordinators in various jurisdictions to promote METEOR.
Publications of scientific articles based on the METEOR database will contribute to the awareness of METEOR in the rheumatology field worldwide. Therefore the Merit Foundation has granted several research projects over the years. The first results of these research projects are listed in the publications section.
In 2017, the board has focused on long term sustainability of the METEOR database. An extended description of the activities can be found in the annual account that has been added below.
In 2014, the board has focused on improving the quality and completeness of data in the METEOR research database.
Every month an executive board meeting was held and yearly a strategy meeting was organised.
Yearly, a METEOR newsletter has been issued.
Every year in September, a scientific meeting was held in the Netherlands, to discuss current research projects, involving METEOR contributors from several countries worldwide.
Yearly, METEOR has been promoted by an educational stand at the EULAR and ACR annual meetings.
There have been several improvements of the METEOR tool, including the addition of biosimilar DMARDs and a simplified medication dose entry system.
Data from several new hospitals in various countries have started contributing data to the database, including India, Iran, Brazil, Nigera, South-Africa, Mexico and others.
Several hospitals started adding data to the research database using data uploads form the electronic patient registration system or existing research databases, including the Netherlands, India and Portugal.
Several articles have been published in international, peer-reviewed journals. These are listed on the page Publications.
In 2012, the board has focused on more exposure of METEOR worldwide by demonstrating METEOR software at rheumatology congresses in Europe (EULAR) and in the United States of America (ACR).
In June 2012 a European Scientific Committee meeting was held in Amsterdam.
Every month an executive board meeting was held and in December 2012 the board has held a strategy meeting.
Four times a year a METEOR newsletter has been issued.
Furthermore board members have promoted METEOR on numerous occasions in the following countries: Portugal, France, Australia, Hong Kong and Brazil.
There have been several new releases of METEOR with bug fixes, enhancements and improvements.
The Foundation and donators are working together towards a common goal to improve patient care.
With this aim in view the Foundation continues to develop the METEOR application in functional and technical aspects.
Financial support is needed for this.
It is agreed that the Foundation can act independently of any benefactor.
Up till now the METEOR project was realized with the support of Pfizer, Roche and Abbott. Independent research projects were funded by BMS.
Board members receive no payment for their activities. However, they are entitled to reimbursement of the expenses incurred in connection with the performance of their duties and to a reimbursement for the time spent on behalf of the Foundation.
A detailed description of the activities of the Merit foundation in 2016 and 2017 and an overview of the financial activities can be found in the annual accounts below.
Annual Account 2017
Annual Account 2016
Address: P.O.Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden